What would it require to build a work so great that it spanned 150 years and six generations? There is such a building in Barcelona, a church whose first stone was laid in 1882 and is projected to be completed in 2030, named Basílica de la Família Sagrada (Church of the Holy Family). My parents recently visited and upon their return did their best to find the words to convey what they had seen. I was astonished. How could someone design something so visionary whose blueprints are carried out long after their death? It would require an exceptional plan from a visionary architect, a method for equipping future generations of architects and builders, and a community of support surrounding the project. I was asking my friend how this could possibly work and she wisely said; discipleship. What an incredible physical picture of a spiritual reality.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22 (NIV)
The Visionary Architect. God didn’t wait for us to realize we needed Him. He knew the ability to be transformed could only come through His Son and that He would have to give that gift to us. So, he sent a baby who would live among us and change things forever. What an incredible joy-bringing event that was and is still today. You are, by adoption through baptism, a part of His holy family. Our Father, sent His Son to be born of a human family so that we could be reborn into his family. You are a sons and daughters of the King of Kings, members of a holy family and beautiful part of His great work.
The Perfect Blueprints. Jesus spent time on earth, living life with people, for the purpose of God’s great plan of rescue with eternal impact. He repaired what had been broken through sin and brought us back to relationship with His Father. The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. John 1:14 (MSG). He did all of this for you, for me, and for our neighbors.
Training for Generations. An apprentice spends so much time living life and learning from their masters that they know how to handle every situation, answer any question, and make every decision as they themselves become the master. Even Jesus did only what he saw his Father doing and said only what His father told him to say. Our families are given to us with great purpose by God to apprentice future generations of believers and so that we will be family to others in need.
This Christmas, knowing you have everything by grace for godliness because of Immanuel, God with us: How can you reflect the love of a never-quitting, always in pursuit of your Father? How can you reflect the love of a Son who gave up His spot in heaven so he could know what life was like for you? What gifts of the Spirit will you give to others as you show love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? May the Lord bless and keep you this Advent Season.